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Full text of "NightRider"

40

business OB the board," He shook his head doubtfully. "I
appreciate the fact you all want me on the board with you,
and all that—I want you to know that, all right—but I'm
not the man for it I'd better just say no."

The surprise had gone now from the Senator's face, which
was again smiling. " No} my boy "-he was shaking his head
reprovingly as though at a child—"we expected to have to
persuade you a little. We expected you would be surprised.
But nobody else will be surprised. You may not know it, my
boy, but you are a coming man in the community. We need
rou with us. And a young man. These mossbacks "—and
he waved a patronizing hand at his companions—" and the
rest of us, we could use a little fresh blood."

Mr. Munn still shook his head.

"Now you mustn't let your modesty," the Senator began
again, " stand in the way of your duty. Your modesty , , ."

In the end Mr. Munn accepted.

It had not been modesty that prompted his first, almost un-
civil, blurted-out refusal When the Senator referred to his
modesty, he told him that it wasn't modesty. But he had no
language to define for the Senator and Mr. Christian and Mr.
Sills what it actually was that made him refuse the place at
first Nor had he been able, standing before them there in
the office that day, to define it for himself. If he had been
able to give a name to the secret but violent promptings that
thrust tbe " No " to his lips, he might have obeyed them and
stood his ground against the courtesy of the Senator, the
bullying of Mr, Christian, and the dry, satirical silence of
Mr. Silk Mr. Munn's common sense, his logic, had con-
spired with his friends to force his acceptance. Such chances
to get along didn't turn up every day to a young man of
thirty. He had better grab it.

But for months afterwards, even when he was wrapped up,
Wj and soul, in the business of the Association and knew,
iritiwot any regrets, that more and more the Association was
dai»fc§ not only his energies and interest, but also that
raor substance of his being which was peculiarly himself, he